resting heart rate 140 to 150, jumped to almost 200 in 1st minute of stress test.

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/11/2012 10:15 PM (GMT -6)   

I am a 29 year old female, non smoker, 5" 0", 122 lbs.

I was in to see my cardiologist last week for racing/irregular heart, chest pain, previous left arm shoulder pain, and tingling in left hand. He ordered a stress test which I had done today.

When I got there, they got me all hooked up, and took my blood pressure, which was normal. They were recording my heart rate before the test, and it was consistently staying around 140 to 150 bpm. It would occasionally drop down to 80ish for a few seconds but then shoot right back up close to 150's, and this was all while sitting before starting the test! They had told me before hooking me up they wanted to get my heart rate up to 160 to 170 bpm (target heart rate for exersize). They watched my resting heart rate for a while and were debating if they could even put me on the treadmill with my heart rate staying around 150. One of the nurses left to check with a doc, came back and said they had the OK. But then they watched for a quite a bit longer, and consulted with a second cardiologist. They eventually had me get on the treadmill, and within the 1st minute of walking my heart rate was going between 160 and 170. And that was on a very slow speed, and no incline. They did end up going to the next speed and a bit of an incline and my heart rate went up to 196 pretty quickly, and once it was close to 200 they had me stop.

They had me sit down for a while and monitored me longer, my heart rate went back down to 150ish, and again would occasionally drop quickly to 80 or 90 and shoot right back up to 150. When it did drop so quickly, I got very dizzy and they had me lay down until it passed.

I do not have any results as of now, but I am curious if anyone has any input on if my previous inappropriate sinus tachycardia (see history below) is causing all of this or if this may be something else?

[A brief history of what has led up to this: During my pregnancy with my twins 4 years ago, I started having a lot of episodes of racing and irregular heart beats and shortness of breath (imagine that while carrying twins and being only 5' room to breath! LOL) My resting heart rate was more often than not hovering around 140 to 150 at that time, and I started seeing a cardiologist then. They did some tests at that time, and I was told I have inappropriate sinus tachycardia. They assumed it was all pregnancy related and would go away after the twins were born. The day we were discharged from the hospital when my twins were born, I ended up in the ER that evening because my heart was racing, I was vomiting, and just couldn't get it to slow down. I was given fluids and my iron was low. But they didn't find anything else.

Over the last 4 years, the episodes have continued, but not as bad or as often. Over last 6 months though, they have gotten worse.

Then this past July I woke up at 5:30 am out of a dead sleep and my heart was racing, pounding, and I was short of breath. My resting heart rate was around 140. After about an hour of it racing, and feeling short of breath I went to the ER. They did not do a ECG or anything, but they did some bloodwork. My potassium level came back as "critically low" so they did a CT scan to look for blood clots. Everything came back clear from that, and they gave me ativan and sent me home. It knocked me out and I slept all day. I believe they said I was having a panic attack, however I am not sure why my potassium was so low.

Then in August, we had gone to a movie and dinner for my daughters birthday and after dinner I started getting chest pain. My heart was not racing (which I though was weird because I am so used to it racing), but it actually seemed slow to me. The pain was pretty severe, and then my left shoulder started hurting, and my left hand was tingling. Since it was my daughters birthday, we decided to just call the dr. on call at our clinic and see if he advised going to ER or not. He said my risk of any heart problems is low with my age, and having seen a cardiologist a few years ago, not to worry, but keep my appt. I had scheduled with cardiologist the following month, which I did and that was my appt. I had last week when we scheduled the stress test.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 9/12/2012 1:00 AM (GMT -6)   

Just saw your post and wanted to make a quick comment, as we share some things in common. I also had the same experience happen, though I was just pregnant (at the time) with one baby. Assured it would go away after birth - and it never did. I was finally diagnosed with POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) and dysautonomia. I have a bunch of other health issues -but this was what was going on w/ my heart.

Eight years later - I then had a surprise twin pregnancy. I'm also just 5'2 and I spent 5 months on bed rest or hospitalized, due to the issues w/ my heart and blood pressure. It was miserable. The girls are now two years old... but about 6 months ago - I had the same experience on my stress test. I last only a little over 2 minutes.... had horrible dizziness..... and my heart rate was about where yours was. The cardiologist raised my heart meds and attributed my symptoms to the POTS.

I've also dealt w/ low potassium and being horribly anemic, among other things. Have they talked about doing a 24 hour urine test on you and looking at your cortisol levels and other things? Are you on meds to slow your heart?

I'm sorry you are going through this :( --Tina
Moderator - Chronic Pain Forum

My faith and family sustain me even on my worst days... as well as my wonderful friends here at HW.

Health/Pain Issues - too many to list; feel free to ask

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 9/12/2012 4:16 AM (GMT -6)   
If your heart checks out okay, consider seeing your primary care doctor and requesting a thyroid panel. Hyperthyroidism can severely elevate your heart rate. In my case it went from my normal resting around 60 to 120.
Ulcerative colitis diagnosed in 2001; symptoms as early as 1992. In remission since 2006 with Remicade.
Inflammatory osteoarthritis; osteonecrosis from steroids
Grave's disease successfully treated with radioactive iodine and now on Levothyroxine.
Type II diabetes induced by steroids.
Meds: Remicade, Colazal, Levothyroxine, Mobic, Metformin

Moderator, thyroid forum

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/12/2012 9:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your replies!

I was previously on Atenolol, but that did not seem to help, and last week the cardiologist prescribed propranolol to take as needed. I have only taken it a few times, and took it yesterday after the stress test, but my heart was still racing the rest of the evening.

Momto8kids, I can so relate to the miserable pregnancy! I'm sorry you went through it too! Not enough room for 2 babies in our short bodies! LOL

I too have some other health problems we've been trying to figure out. (diarrhea, stomach pains, insomnia, hair loss, low iron anemia) My daughter has Celiac disease, which I was also tested for but the test was negative. Interestingly though, I read a little about POTS and celiac disease is listed as one of the causes. When my daughter was diagnosed I went gluten free with her, and it has helped with some of the symptoms, but did not help with the heart rate issue.

No, they have not done a 24 hour urine test, would my primary do that or cardiologist?

I did also have a thyroid panel done about 2 months ago, and was told that was fine. Do you know how accurate the tests are or if they can give false negatives etc? My grandma, mom, and sister all have thyroid problems. Wondering if that should be rechecked as well?


Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 9/15/2012 6:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry for my late reply... been dealing w/ my health issues lately :(

Anyway.... it's taken me awhile to get my heart meds right - so keep trying different things w/ your doctor.

But absolutely - if thyroid issues run in your family - try to get a referral to an endocrinologist.... Was it your primary doctor checking your thyroid levels? Often times, they just do the very basic of tests and not the more sensitive ones that are often needed to diagnose a thyroid issue. Sometimes you really gotta push for a referral - but it's absolutely worth it.

Much of what you wrote sounds like it could be thyroid related. (I have this lovely problem as well, and am on meds - Synthroid - for it). The heart rate thing. The hair loss. Have you gained or lost weight lately? Anemia can also be related to thyroid issues.

24 hour urine can also be done by an endocrinologist.

Good luck to you.... let us know how you are doing.... --Tina
Moderator - Chronic Pain Forum

My faith and family sustain me even on my worst days... as well as my wonderful friends here at HW.

Health/Pain Issues - too many to list; feel free to ask

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/18/2014 10:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I just saw your post and I know its a couple of years later, but I was curious if anyone ever treated the low potassium levels that you had? I had something similar happen to me with the racing heart at rest and being woken up from sleep like you described. The problem was fixed after giving me potassium by intravenous and also a supplement which now my blood levels are monitored regularly. Right after my potassium levels returned to normal the problem stopped.

Critically low potassium levels disturb the normal heart rhythm and are easily fixed by returning the levels to normal. They also show up on an EKG, and when your levels came back that way they should done an EKG stat!

I do hope you are doing ok now

Post Edited (lisakenn) : 10/18/2014 9:24:40 AM (GMT-6)

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Saturday, September 22, 2018 8:02 PM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 3,005,760 posts in 329,262 threads.
View Active Threads

Who's Online
This forum has 161800 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Envsciguy.
282 Guest(s), 12 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
notsosicklygirl, Vdahl & Roo, Wings of Eagles, HeartsinPain, Kokopuff7, mattamx, getting by, Healing98, RobLee, Dodgegrl_02, jwebb, BOB 46